Wednesday, 19 July 2017


A relevant way to go
Worth saying again...

Liverpool John Moores University Coat of Arms.jpg

SROI (Social Return on Investment)

SROI analysis uses a combination of qualitative, quantitative and financial information to estimate the amount of ‘value’ created or destroyed by a project, which is typically expressed thus –
For every £1 invested in the project, £x of social value is creat
(Nicholls et al., 2012)
Fundamentally, SLOI is about value rather than money, and the report's concluding remarks (p. 26) make this point well.
As far as I know, the only CE service to have been evaluated by this means is Stick'n'Step:
The improvements identified clustered into four groups:
  • improvements in health and well-being
  • increase in mobility
  • socialising
  • learning new skills
And tellingly –

For every £1 spent by Stick 'n' Step, £4.89 of social value was created.
This precise figure will not of course generalise across the dazzling array of practices, circumstances, services etc. that fall under the general term 'Conductive Education. It must be inevitably situation-specific, applying to given services at a given time.
A minor criticism of the study at Stick'n'Step
Though the report offers a detailed overview of the services that Stick 'n' Step provides, it does not say what the individuals investigated here actually received, e.g. what kind of 'Conductive Education', how often, over what period. It therefore falls short of the proposal for 'manualisation' (Ludwig et al., 2003) that is perhaps the most important practical proposal to have emerged from the earlier glut of 'CE-research'. This seems to be an essential prerequisite for all outcome studies in this sector if they are to have concrete value in contributing to a guide to future policy.  (ibid.)
This notwithstanding, this seems as about the most relevant model for producing the sort of research evidence that is requested by officials and politicians, and by parents and the media. It is evaluation rather than 'academic research', but none the worse for that.

I myself regard the demonstration of this approach to evaluating Conductve Education as a major step forward for Conductive Education. The value of this particular study carried out at Stick'n'Step by John Moore's University has been confirmed by no less than NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence):
Such a shame...
that over the three years since this study was reported no one else has done the same. Or maybe I am missing something.
Previous mentions on Conductive World


The published report for this study can no longer be found on Stick'n'Step's website, but on the site of John Moore's University:

My thanks to Craig Neilson of the CE Taranaki Trust in New Zealand for pointing this out to me:


Ludwig, S., Leggett, P., Hartsal, C, (2000) Conductive Education for children with cerebral palsy, Edmonton, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research

Nicholls et al., (2012) A Guide to Social Return on Investment, revised edition, SROI Network, January

Optimity Advisors (2015) Community Engagement – approaches to improve health and reduce health inequalities. Review of Social Return on Investment (SROI) evaluations, London, NICE, July

Whelan, G., Roach, G. (2014) An evaluation of the Stick ‘n’ Step charity in Wirral, Merseyside, Final report, Liverpool, John Moore's University, February



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